Short Story Battle #40 – Sawbones

SawbonesWelcome, short story lovers, to our fortieth battle.

Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have been getting sick. And ever since people have been getting sick, someone has been there looking to cure them.

Yes, we’re all about doctors this week, though with a topic like this the history can be stranger than anything we could make up. Society’s notions about how illness is caused and cured has bounced into so many different realms that the sick throughout time have sought out witch doctors, herbalists, sanitariums, constipation experts, priests, and leech-wielding barbers. Likewise, medicine makes such huge leaps forward that we’re pretty sure it won’t be long before our current medical professionals seem positively medieval to the doctors of the future.

What’s important, though, is that the role of healer has always been clearly defined by a culture (or subculture) and that’s what we told our authors to write about. They were tasked to give us a story in which one character is looked to as the healer of a group. Whether that group consists of cavemen or aliens, and whether they have chosen their healer wisely, we left up to them.

Representing the arena this week is Tony Southcotte.

Challenging him is D.M. Slate:

D.M. SlateDanyelle (aka D.M. Slate) resides in Colorado, where she’s lived for most of her life. She attended college at the University of Northern Colorado completing a business degree, and now works as a financial analyst.

D.M. Slate’s first sci-fi horror novella was released in 2009, followed by dark fiction novels in 2010 and 2012. In 2013 Slate produced her first audio-story.  The following year her second audio-story won the Wicked Woman Writer’s Challenge hosted by, earning her the title of 2014’s Most Wicked Woman Writer.

Additional information can be found at


Our diagnosis begins tomorrow.

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